Ice Cream

Yesterday we made ice cream. Why? Well, why not? You see, we have this water filter owing to our well water. Part of it is a water softener and uses salt pellets (they're big when you put them in, the size of 2 peanuts next to each other). When the salt gets used up, and it's time to add more, it looks like rock salt.

Used up salt from water filter

Doesn't that just beg for an ice cream maker? What could be more perfect than a supply of rock salt in your basement?

We didn't want to go get cream or half and half or any of that, so we used a simple milk-sugar-vanilla recipe. That means it isn't as creamy as some recipes, or as the custard-based ones (although the third Red Star laid its first egg, so now we have 4 of our own eggs that we could have used for that...hmmm...)

First you mix your ingredients together in the canister of your ice cream maker.

Ingredients, mixed in canister.

The recipe claims to make 1 gallon, which is just how much our ice cream maker says it can hold. Then you just put your ice cream maker together, add salt and ice, and let 'er rip. (This is when we moved it outside, just in case it got messy...)

Ice cream maker, assembled and loaded up with ice and rock salt

Done churning, about the consistency of light whipped potatoes--and fluffy. Feel free to taste :-)

Once it's done churning, it'll need to harden up in the freezer for another hour or so, then--voila.

Easy 4-ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream

8 cups milk (we used whole milk)
2 cups white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Combine ingredients in the canister of your ice cream maker and stir. Then just follow the directions for your individual ice cream maker to freeze/churn, since they're all different. We assembled the canister into the center of our mixer, and added layers of ice and "rock" salt until it reached the top of the canister. Then we just turned it on to churn for the specified time in the manual (in this case 20-40 minutes). After that, we took the lid off to check on consistency. It had thickened nicely, so we just removed the canister and stuck it in the freezer to harden for another few hours. Yum.

Notes: Next time we'll add double the vanilla flavor--and while delicious, I'm sure it would have been creamier had we used some cream.


    On August 8, 2009 at 3:54 PM Anonymous said...

    as farmers, you need milk for your ice cream. Are goats next?


    :-) Our neighbor has some goats, but they're meat goats... I think I would need to taste some fresh goat milk from a dairy goat before committing! Although I hear that you can make some very nice soap out of a goat milk base...

    On August 9, 2009 at 8:32 AM Anonymous said...

    Like in so many things, the simplest recipes are often the best. I don't eat dairy, so ice-cream is off the menu, but my ice-ceeam maker is getting lots of work with fruit sorbets. With all the fresh fruit, and the recent heat here, it is a natural! Your ice-cream looks delicious. I'll be interested to hear how it goes if you end up trying different kinds of milks for the ice-cream.


    Thanks livinginalocalzone--I'd love to see one of those sorbet recipes!

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